Travel - Santorini Part 2

September 09, 2014

Santorini Part 1 was all about where we stayed but now for our adventures exploring this dreamy place.

I loved loved loved the blue and white everywhere we went, the Greek's national colours which were even more striking against the bright blue skies. Iconic whitewashed villages built into the cliffs.

Wandering around Oia was magical. Our hotel was down some steep steps off of the main street, a marble lined walkway leading to the end of the island with various domed churches, boutiques and restaurants along the way.

We couldn't resist going to watch the world-famous sunset on our first night. We went for dinner first at a restaurant called Lotza in Oia that served the best moussaka {it kind of breaks holiday rules to go back to the same place twice but we had to go back for more of that amazing moussaka one lunchtime}. The view was incredible, we literally pinched ourselves. After dinner we got a gelato from Lolita's {which I recommend if you're in Oia, it's by the bus station} and went to the castle ruins  at the very end of the island to watch the sunset.

Amoudi Bay is located three hundred steps below Oia but it's well worth the trek down {and back up!}. It has tavernas serving fresh fish right on the waterfront, cute traditional fishing boats in crystal clear water and a popular spot for people swimming off the rocks.

Donkey's are iconic in Santorini and have traditionally been used for carrying heavy loads and a way of transport in the narrow streets and cliff paths where cars can't go. However I did feel sorry for the ones being exploited for tourism carrying visitors back up the steep climb to Oia. There is a post about the cruelty they suffer here.

I loved the sparkly turquoise waters with all the boats bobbing around. We walked down to Amoudi Bay one lunchtime and sat by the water eating seafood while a regatta of boats passed us. Again, in May it was fairly quiet and we had a good pick of restaurants and seats but in the summer it might be best to book or get down there early. In the evening you can watch the sunset and hit the water. You do pay a premium for food by the sea so lunch can be better value depending on which restaurant you visit.

We definitely burned our lunch off walking back up to Oia, the steps are so steep everywhere you go with it being built on the cliffs. But in return you get amazing views like this when you reach the top:

There were postcard perfect views every corner we went around in Oia, it really is the most incredible place. And I loved overhearing other tourists' reactions to the views, middle aged well travelled Australian's and American's were wowing out loud and there was a shared spirit of everyone appreciating just how unforgettable this place really is unlike anywhere else I'd been before.

We had to stop for endless photos with each view. I was fascinated by the number of Asian photo shoots going on out there, you'd see at least three bride and grooms, we couldn't work out if they were genuine or not dressed up with tripods each day.

We'd seen a lot of Oia after a few days so decided one morning to walk the 10km along the coast path to Fira then got the bus back. Public buses are super cheap, luxurious and efficient in Santorini and so easy to use. You can look up the timetables and routes online or ask your hotel or at the bus station in each town. There are only about sixty taxis on the whole island and as a result they charge a lot per journey so I'd definitely recommend using the public buses.

The walk was quite hard work at times going up steep hills in the heat but mostly it was flat and had incredible views. After spending a lot of time in Oia with lots of people around us quite a lot of the time it was so nice to get out and see some of the other parts of the island with lots of open space around us. The views were spectacular walking around the rim of the caldera crater. We walked past farms and churches before going through Imervigli and then into the main town Fira. 

It was nice to spend a morning wandering around the streets and shops of Fira but we didn't buy anything. There seemed to be an abundance of jewellery shops but also lots of overly commercialised shops. After our walk we were ready for lunch, traditional greek gyros from the main square followed by the best frozen yogurt called Chillbox with a huge choice of flavours and toppings to mix and match. I'm a bit of a fro-yo addict so absolutely loved this place. 

We watched the sunset every night, on our last night we sat and had dinner at a restaurant called Kastro in Oia for dinner watching it sink into the water. I don't think I'd ever get bored of the changing colours of the sky and surrounds.

Every view was ridiculous, this was taken on our terrace overlooking the big blue on our penultimate night before dinner.

Such a magical trip, one of those that I wish we could go back to tomorrow but you know would just never be quite as special as the first time. I thoroughly recommend a trip there if you are thinking of going away. We love you Santorini.

R <3 xx

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  1. I have booked to go to Santorini in the summer and discovered your blog online while I was doing some research. I love your post! do you have any more recommendations of where to visit/where to eat etc as we are also staying in Oia! Thanks! x


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